12 Predictions for 2012
Keeping up with annual NERR tradition, and following in line with the example set by ESPNHS’s feature from a few days ago, here are 12 predictions for the year 2012.
1. NEPSAC Titles at Endicott: Brewster Academy, Tilton School, and Salisbury School will leave Endicott College hoisting championship gold on Sunday, March 4th as we’re predicting The Academy to reign supreme in class AAA, Tilton to take their fifth straight in AA, and Salisbury to take the next step after reaching last year’s class A final.
2. B, C, and D Picks: Elsewhere in the NEPSAC we’re predicting Cheshire Academy to return to their championship ways in class B with a deep and talented veteran squad, Hamden Hall to run away with class C in their repeat bid, and Pingree to emerge out of class D.
3. Undisputed RIIL Champ: There will only be one state champion to crown again in Rhode Island this year and we’re picking St. Raphael Academy to repeat behind the presence of junior guard Charles Correa and his running mate Cesar Meijia.
4. MIAA Madness: Division I of the MIAA looks especially competitive and we’re betting on Charlestown to be able to hold off defending champions St. John’s Prep and others. Jake Layman and King Phillip are our picks in division II while Joey Glynn and Cardinal Spellman could be cutting the nets down in division III.
5. Maine’s Most Likely Winners: Maine’s state championship could go to an experienced Hampden Academy team in Class A while York could come out of the west to take a title in Class B. We’re betting on history and experience in class C and D respectively as Dirigo and Central Aroostook could continue their winning ways.
6. Ripe for a Repeat in CT: St. Joe’s has answered all challengers thus far and our guess is they’ll continue to do so en route to a second consecutive state title. It’s bound to be a battle of Catholic schools in class L as Northwest Catholic should be able to survive Trinity Catholic to capture championship gold while Notre Dame Fairfield and Capital Prep are the picks in classes M and S respectively.
7. New Hampshire’s Dramatic Return: We’re not betting against Dimitri Floras as he attempts to lead Merrimack to a state title in New Hampshire while Portsmouth should benefit from returning four starters from last year’s state finalist in division II. Berlin is the pick in division III and Moutonborough our choice in division IV.
8. Vermont’s Victory Dance: Mount Mansfield has earned our pick as the division I favorite in Vermont to start the new year while that distinction belongs to Vergennes in division II. We’re picking Winooski to repeat in division III while Chad Copeland and Twinfield should be too much to overcome in division IV.
9. Adding to the Trophy Case: We’re concurring with the ESPNHS prophecy that BABC adds to an already full trophy room this year as Nerlens Noel, Wayne Selden, Goodluck Okonoboh, Rene Castro, and Jaylen Brantley all return with a third straight national title and repeat performance at EYBL on the mind.
10. Louisville Looming for Noel: Syracuse and Kentucky are perceived to be the favorites, although Noel’s silence has led many to jump to their own conclusion. Louisville could make sense on a variety of reasons as Rick Pitino has a longstanding relationship with BABC and his skill development program would do wonders for Noel’s NBA stock.
11. Draft Day for Drummond: Only a few months after skipping his post-graduate year and joining UConn at the eleventh hour, Andre Drummond appears poised to meet David Stern on the podium come June. Our prediction – second pick overall right after Anthony Davis.
12. Raising the Bar in 2014: New England’s classes of 2011 and 2012 have been some of the region’s best but the tanden of Noah Vonleh and Wayne Selden could be the best the region has produced in recent memory. We predict both will finish the coming year ranked inside the top five players in America.
13. Baker’s Dozen – Reclassify or Declassify: In the class of 2011 Drummond, Khem Birch, and Alex Murphy all reclassified early in their high school careers only to return to their original class before the end of the year. We’re not going to add fuel to the speculation fire but we’d be surprised if there weren’t some who followed suit in 2012.